Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Featured Seller: Chicken Scratch

Todays featured Seller is Chicken Scratch. Chicken Scratch offers a variety of soy massage candles. They can be found at http://chickscratch.etsy.com/

Tell me a little about yourself, your store and what you sell.

My name's Beth Merriman & I'm the owner of Chicken Scratch. I know it's an odd name for a shop - a while back, a prospective customer asked me what the name of my shop was (which I hadn't actually listed on etsy yet) and that was the first thing that came to mind. My grandfather always called my sister and I "chickie" when we were little; and I needed to make some scratch (cash) quickly. Plus, of course, my candles are made from scratch. I listed my shop on Etsy the next day.

I'm 30-something, single, living in San Diego, CA with a cat and a roomie. The roomie works days, and I work nights, so my craftiness
doesn't infringe (much) on her life. She's been a good promoter, handing out business cards and talking me up whenever she can. I work in backstage theatre as a dresser - some of my best customers are the actors and crew, who are always looking for opening night presents or something to send home to their loved ones.

Massage candles burn like beeswax candles, but the melted wax can be used as massage oil. They make great little gifts, and you can pop them into your suitcase and really spoil yourself on vacation. And, of course, if your romantic partner needs a hint, you can leave one on their pillow and see what happens next! My candles are vegan, meaning no animal products are used. The soy wax melts at a lower temperature than beeswax, so it won't burn you, and the shea butter just melts into your skin. I'm always trying out new scents, and I'm open to customer requests.

How long have you been making the craft/art that you sell? What started your interest in it? How did you learn?

About 6 months. I started selling to friends, and some asked about shipping and Christmas presents, so I thought etsy might be easier to handle all the orders.

My sister's a masseuse, and while she doesn't use oil in her practice, I thought this was a niche that not many other people had tapped. And I use them myself - I've always had aches and pains, and sometimes dress rehearsals go on for 12, 14 hours. At night, there's nothing like a candle by the bath and a nice leg massage afterwards.

I taught myself - I've always been very crafty, and my childhood memories are smeared with Elmer's glue and construction paper. Candle making is also a lot like cooking, which I also love, but there are no dangerous calories involved. I can make the house smell great and still fit into my jeans.

What made you decide to turn your art/craft into a business? What support or inspiration have you had along the way?

I gave my first massage candles as a gift. And then someone asked if I sold them. Then my sister wanted some. Suddenly there's hundreds of candles in my kitchen. My sister, Joan, has been a huge inspiration to me - she makes and sell her own eco-friendly laundry detergent, and sails the seven seas as much as she can. I love that she's never been tied to a 9-5 job, that she's got her priorities in order, and that she's as crazy as I am. She's also my go-to girl for herbal remedies.

Do you have any other hobbies / interests?

Crochet! I considered opening a crochet etsy store, but it's very time consuming, which makes real-world pricing very prohibitive. I'd never really get paid for my time. Candles are so much easier; I can make a small batch at night and list it the next morning.
I also very involved with live professional theatre and have costumed designed and assistant designed for a couple shows.

How long have you been selling on Etsy? Do you sell full or part time?

I've only been selling seriously for about a month. I do it part time. My theatre job has a very odd schedule, so I fill in the down time with my etsy store.

Do you sell outside of Etsy? If so where?

Not yet, but I've had several inquires from gift shops and massage therapists.

What is your favourite way to promote your Etsy store?

Facebook. My friends and family are the first to know about my products, and they're quick to spread the word.

Do you have a blog? If so what is your blog address, and what do you feature / write about?

No, I don't have a blog right now, since I just opened shop. Give me a couple months.

Where do you hope to see your business / Etsy store in the future?

I take it day by day - if eventually I can support myself primarily from Etsy, I'd be over the moon, but I don't think I could ever totally leave theatre. For now, I'm happy to supplement my income so I can travel more.

If you would like your Etsy store to be featured on Everything Etsy, send an email to everythingetsy@yahoo.com.



1 comment:

Puffluna... said...

I've never heard of candles like this before. Great interview and wonderful blog idea :)